Gripping statistics

Quantitative Methods - Mathematics for Economics and Business - Doing Statistics for Business with Excel - Business Economics. First edition

February 25, 2000

Diana Bedward''s book provides an excellent platform for first-year undergraduates. It is clear enough to allow students to work with it on their own and has a "toolkit" at the beginning that explains the basic mathematics needed.

Excel software supports learning and the disk that comes with the book is well organised. The many case studies, self-assessments and summaries throughout the text will be invaluable to the reader. A good book indeed.

Very often American texts in this subject area do not meet the British student''s needs because of the examples used to support the principles and techniques. But this is the not the case with the examples cited by Marilyn Pelosi and Theresa Sandifer. Their book shows students how to use statistics in making intelligent, informed decisions and covers all the standard areas of quantitative methods. It gives readers plenty of opportunity to test their understanding and the self-assessment questions are highly relevant and thought provoking.

Excel is used in a most appropriate way and throughout the text are examples of what the reader should see on screen. But the real benefit comes when the a computer is used in conjunction with the book. It is an excellent book that I will be recommending to my MBA students.

Quite different but nevertheless interesting is the book by Roger Perman and John Scouller, which supports students on MBA programmes who need an introduction to economics without focusing on analytical techniques. Any business- studies student who has little or no understanding of economic principles could make use of this book. It uses easy language to introduce technical phrases. Each chapter ends with a helpful conclusion, organised and graded questions and a well-thought-out, thorough list of additional readings. All the expected areas of the economics curriculum are covered.

The final book, by Jean Soper, is a very different. It sets out to describe all the mathematical techniques that a student on the first and second year of a degree programme would need to cope with an economics module. They are well explained and written in simple English. At the end of each chapter there is a set of practice problems. Full explanations to each answer are provided and readers will find this to be particularly helpful.

The book covers all the areas one would expect, from economic functions and equations through to full and partial differentiation and integration. For this reason the book would serve as a useful reference source for any economics student. A CD-Rom, Selections from the WinEcon Software Mathematics for Economics and Business Applications , that comes with the book instals very easily and contains excellent tutorials. Starting from the most basic mathematics, it allows students to progress at their own speed. It is set out in such a way that tutorials in an area in which students are proficient can be skipped and one can move on to those in which there are difficulties. All in all an excellent book.

Rod W. Gunn is reader in quantitative methods, University of Glamorgan.


Quantitative Methods: A Business Perspective. First Edition

Author - Diana Bedward
ISBN - 0 7506 4093 6
Publisher - Butterworth Heinemann
Price - £18.99
Pages - 281

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